Cowboys Start Fast Then Fade In Loss To A&M


PHOTO/Getty Images-Bob Levey

The Oklahoma State Cowboys got off to a hot start, forcing two Texas A&M turnovers and jumping out to a 14-0 first quarter lead.

But there were also some warning signs flashing in the early going...a couple of missed field goals and shanked punt that led to the Aggies first touchdown, plus a trend started developing of the Cowboys going away from their top offensive weapon, running back Chuba Hubbard.

It all contributed to an Aggie rally that saw them score 24 straight points to win the Texas Bowl 24-21.

Hubbard carried 19 times for 158 yards but there were some possessions where the "Canadian Cowboy" didn't touch the ball. Those possessions left Cowboy fans wondering what coaches were thinking.

Hubbard's 158 yards gave him 2,094 for the season, the 18th best rushing season in the history of college football and the second most at OSU behind Barry Sanders' NCAA record 2,850 in his 1988 Heisman Trophy winning season.

Dru Brown started at quarterback and was relieved just three times by Spencer Sanders on short yardage situations. Sanders did not attempt a pass and after his first run he was seen shaking his right had and looking at his thumb. Sanders missed the last two regular season games after having surgery on that thumb.

Brown was 15-of-28 passing for 184 yards and two touchdowns, both to receiver Braydon Johnson who flashed his speed several times. He had five catches for 124 and those two scores. Johnson also made a bad decision when he started to run an Aggie kickoff out of the endzone then tried to stop short and kneel for a touchback but his foot had already gone across the line. He ended up being tackled at the five yard line.

The Cowboys took several deep shots during the game but Brown hit only one, going 1-of-8 on long passes. It seemed his timing was off with the receivers at times and it also appeared a couple of Cowboys were interfered with but the officials kept flags in their pockets. Brown was also sacked four times and pressured a few more.

The OSU defense held up early but they were placed in difficult positions by the offense, especially in the second half. Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond, contained in the first half, got his option game going in the second half. Mond torched the Pokes for 104 yards rushing in the 4th quarter alone.

After the game Hubbard told reporters he's still trying to decide whether he will return for his redshirt junior season or leave for the NFL. A decision is expected within the next couple of weeks.

If Hubbard decides to come back and if injured star wide receiver Tylan Wallace does the same the Cowboys could set themselves up for a big year. Most of the team would be returning. With the amount of talented young players OSU will have next season they could be pretty salty even if both Hubbard and Wallace turn pro.

But the promise of what could happen next season is being tempered by the disappointment of what did happen in the Texas Bowl.

You can see OSU postgame interviews in the box below.

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